To commemorate the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence the Association of Indians in America (AIA National) recently hosted its 25th Honor Banquet in Flushing Meadows Park, New York. The sold out event was attended by over 250 prominent members of the organization and the Indian community.
US Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer, Mayor of New York City, Eric Adams, Consul General of India at New York Randhir Jaiswal graced the occasion as chief guest. New York Assemblywoman Jennifer Rajkumar also attended the event.
The celebrations began with an invocation followed by both the American and Indian National Anthem. A classical dance performance by Maheshwari Jagabattula on A.R. Rahman’s Vande Mataram song brought in the patriotic fervour among the audience.
Schumer in his speech shared details about his recent trip to India and how fascinated he was with the country. He further emphasized the significance of the US-India bilateral relations and said, "Our partnership has a huge potential for growth in the 21st century." Similar thoughts were expressed by Counsul General Jaiswal, who spoke at length of strengthening the relationship between the two nations.
Addressing the gathering, AIA National president Gobind Munjal highlighted India’s culture and values and the progress made by Indian Americans. "Indians in America bring distinct vision, values, needs and goals and we and our next generations should fully assimilate and participate in the political system and take active role in shaping the future of this great country," he remarked.
Appreciating Indian culture, NYC Mayor said, “I like the Indian culture, tradition, values, the education and close family system and I like you to retain and enrich main stream America. I also want you to fully participate in the political system by getting everybody to register to vote and put forward candidates to have your voice heard.”
During the event, two distinguished guests received AIA's “Honor Award” for their outstanding achievements. They included Padma Bhushan Arvind Panagariya, Ph.D. Professor of Economics and Jagdish Bhagwati Professor of Indian Political Economy in the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University since 2004 and Renu Khator, Ph.D Chancellor and President of the University of Houston, Texas.
Banquet committee chair, Dr Buddhadev Manvar and chair Board of Trustees, Dr Samin Sharma also addressed the gathering and applauded the AIA team for organizing the event.
The Association of Indians in America (AIA) is the oldest not-for-profit organization of Asian Indians established in 1967. It is the grassroots national organization of Asian immigrants in the United States. With chapters and membership spread across the United States of America, AIA represents the hopes and aspirations of those immigrants who are united by their common bond of Indian Heritage and American Commitment.